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Grantland Rice

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Sketch of Rice circa 1915

Henry Grantland Rice
(Granny)

[edit] Biographical information

Grantland rice loc.jpg

Grantland Rice wrote some of the most famous sports prose. Although he died a half century ago, his words endure today.

A graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt University, Rice worked for several papers in the south before going to New York. In New York he worked for the Evening Mail, Herald-Tribune and the Daily News. At the New York Evening Mail he worked with Franklin Pierce Adams, the author of Baseball's Sad Lexicon.

Rice gained fame in 1924 when his column in the Herald-Tribune referred to Notre Dame's backfield as the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". The next year, he began selecting the Walter Camp All America Team after Camp himself had died. He wrote a nationally syndicated column beginning in 1930.

Rice's contributions to baseball are wide ranging. In addition to hundreds of columns about the great game, Rice promoted a young outfielder in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1904 and 1905. This outfielder was Ty Cobb. In 1908, Rice was the coach at Vanderbilt University.

In 1921, Rice made the first radio broadcast of a World Series game. He also called the first complete World Series in 1922. From 1946 to 1953, he sat on the Hall of Fame's Old Timers Committee, a precursor to the Veterans Committee.

In 1966, Grantland Rice won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. His last typewriter is on display in the Hall's library.

It was Rice who wrote "It's not whether you won or lost but how you played the game."

[edit] Further Reading

  • John A. Simpson: "The Greatest Game Ever Played in Dixie": The Nashville Vols, their 1908 Season, and the Championship Game, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2007. The book quotes abundantly from Rice's coverage of Nashville's 1908 season.
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